As tender young athletes they found themselves walking among stars like Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Olympic Games last summer. Now Eva Hovenkamp and Nadine Visser are resuming their studies at Wageningen.
Left: Eva Hovenkamp, right: Nadine Visser. Photo: Guy Ackermans
‘Of course it's really cool that someone as young as twenty can be at the world's greatest sporting event,’ says Eva Hovenkamp, student of Health and Society. ‘All the athletes were walking around in the Olympic Village. We saw Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. We asked her if we could take a selfie with her. And during the afterparty in the Holland Heineken House I danced with Humberto Tan to the song Time of my life from the film Dirty Dancing. At the end of that song, the main character in the film does a lift. And suddenly there I was, hanging in the air above all the other athletes. I let out such a scream!’
Nadine Visser, who is also studying Health and Society, enjoyed herself in the lounge area of the flat where she was staying. ‘You could get to know other athletes there. I'm not easily impressed by other top sportspeople. But, yeah, if Usain Bolt walks past, of course I'm going to look up.’
Visser started studying again in September, but does almost all her work at home. ‘I won't be attending seminars in Wageningen again until the next period. When I'm in a lecture hall I know nobody. It's a shame, but that's just how my life is.’ Hovenkamp, by contrast, is back on the campus in Wageningen. ‘I am taking two courses and that is hard work. I missed two statistics lectures due to training sessions and now I don't understand any of it. After Rio we had some time off, we had no training sessions and could eat everything. Now we are back in a rhythm. That takes some getting used to.’